Karine Jean-Pierre to replace Psaki as White House press secretary
The White House announced Thursday that Karine Jean-Pierre will take over as White House press secretary in the coming week, succeeding Jen Psaki.
Jean-Pierre, the White House's current principal deputy press secretary, will become the first openly gay person and the first Black woman to serve as press secretary. The White House announced that Jean-Pierre would take over on May 13.
"Karine not only brings the experience, talent, and integrity required for this difficult job," President Biden said in a statement. "She will also continue to lead the way in communicating about the work of the Biden-Harris Administration on behalf of the American people." "Karine is someone Jill and I have known and respected for a long time, and she will be a strong voice speaking for me and this Administration."
"Jen Psaki has established the bar for restoring decency, respect, and decorum to the White House Briefing Room," he said. "I want to thank Jen for raising the bar, communicating directly and truthfully with the American people, and maintaining her sense of humour in the process."
Jean-Pierre thanked Biden for the opportunity in a tweet, calling it a "true honour."
"I eagerly await the opportunity to serve this Administration and the American people," she wrote. "I'm stepping into big shoes."
Psaki, who has served as press secretary since the beginning of the Biden administration, is expected to leave for a position at MSNBC.
Psaki called Jean-Pierre a "remarkable woman," citing her experience in New York City politics and government, as well as her work as an adviser to Biden during his tenure as Vice President under President Barack Obama. Psaki also emphasised the historic significance of Jean-ascension Pierre's to the role.
"Representation matters, and she will not only give many a voice, but will also inspire many to dream big about what is truly possible," Psaki tweeted.
Later, during a press conference, the two had an emotional moment when Psaki recognised her successor. Jean-Pierre also briefly discussed the historic significance of her appointment.
"I'm still thinking about it," she admitted. "This is a historic moment, and I'm not going to deny it."
The announcement on Thursday puts an end to months of speculation about who would succeed Psaki if she decided to leave the administration. Jean-Pierre has always been considered the frontrunner for the role, but other names, including White House communications director Kate Bedingfield, have been floated as possibilities.
Psaki had intended to leave her position after about a year. Last month, it was reported that she was in talks for a position at MSNBC. Psaki has not confirmed those talks, and her announcement on Thursday said nothing about her future plans.
"I have nothing to announce on my plans," Psaki said during the briefing in response to a reporter's question.
Jean-Pierre has a long history in politics and government, including work on Biden's campaign and as MoveOn.org's chief public affairs officer. She previously worked in the White House under former President Barack Obama, as well as on Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
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